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And now: your comment of the week!
“Why are there always random woodland creatures in every third Mark Trail panel, loitering outside Mark’s house where the ‘action’ is taking place? I like to think it’s because Mark is a Disney princess and they follow him wherever he goes, sometimes breaking into song. It’s either that or Mark left his garbage uncovered.” –Jack loves comics
And the very hilarious runners up!
“‘OH MY GOD HOW AM I GOING TO HELP OUT MY ELDERLY FRIEND WHO HAS TROUBLE CARING FOR HERSELF?’ ‘HI MARY? REMEMBER ME? I JUST MOVED INTO THAT CARE FACILITY THAT TAKES CARE OF ALL THE NEEDS THAT I CAN’T TAKE CARE OF MYSELF!’ ‘HMMMM…’ [cue billboard-sized thought balloon of Hanna Dingdon]” –pugfuggly
“Well if it isn’t my friend, Felicia Deus Ex Machina!” –Wool Worth
“The Great Dismal Swamp sounds like an awesome place for Rusty to get mired in quicksand or tar or leaking oil from a fracking operation gone bad.” –Mikey
“I guess some forethought might have been in order, but since you are Parkers, just pull into someone’s front yard and make yourself at home. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t get thanked enough?” –Kevin on Earth
“We never have to speak of him again. Because we haven’t spoken of him in about 20 months though he inexplicably firebombed my apartment. You’d think something like that would merit conversation, but anyway, since you’re at my agency, what kind of plotline do you think you might be interested in? We have ‘Inexplicable Quickie’, ‘Fade-Out’, ‘Traditional Boring’ and my new personal fave, ‘Meandering Nonsense’. No need to choose now, please take as many panels as you need. In fact, when you decide, make sure you end with ‘I’ve made a decision! I think I’ll take –!’” –Hogenmogen
“‘Ready for some normal police work?’ ‘You bet, Sam!’ ‘Hunting down a perp who’s been given plastic surgery work to look like a movie monster is normal, right?’ ‘I don’t even know any more, Sam!’” –Enlong
“Oh, Henrietta remembers. She remembers the exact moment that Shelia Roo gave her that OMELET recipe! It was the week before little Joey was found pecked to death.” –Arabella
“Say what you will about Hootin’ Holler’s education system, at least they still pass on the proper etiquette of extending your pinky finger when holding a rifle.” –Guts Dozier
“Snuffy and Lukey are made of some strong stuff. If I found an artistically aggressive yet disturbingly non-specific circus poster nailed with a railroad spike to a tree deep in the forest, I’d probably regress to a preverbal state out of sheer terror.” –Joe Blevins
“I’ve never been able to figure out how Mary Worth’s hairdo actually works. Do all the hairs, including the ones that start on the back of her neck, meet together at some appointed place on the back of her head?” –Poteet
“I just didn’t need to see a flesh-colored plugger with flesh-colored hair this morning, is all I’m saying.” –Esther Blodgett
“I like to imagine that Mark and Bill Ellis are screaming into large blocks of chocolate. At least their conversation makes more sense that way.” –Lawyerbob
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Mark Trail, 10/24/14
Well now we know how Woods And Wildlife Magazine editor Bill Ellis can afford that fancy penthouse office! “Mark, I want you to take a trip to the swamp and do a story on the diversity of animal species found there! No, for God’s sake, don’t actually mention this Petroxx Chemical mine business. The Marigold and Philip T. Oxenham Foundation — ‘helping build a more verdant and prosperous world since 2003′ — is W&W’s biggest advertiser, and Phil Oxenham is Petroxx Chemical’s CEO, so we can’t afford to piss him off. Just … just write about all the different kinds of critters that live in the dumb swamp and let’s hope the right people see it and hopefully this’ll all work itself out, OK? I’ll send a copy to Phil, maybe he’ll put some money into whatever safety equipment the unions are bitching about this month. That’ll be a win-win for everyone!”
I am sincerely enjoying the look of shock and alarm on the she-plugger’s face in this panel as she swivels her head around to look at that timer. “Oh my goodness! For whom is this bell tolling? Does it toll … for me?”
Gil Thorp, 10/24/14
Welp, looks like we’ve hit the point in this storyline where the Mudlark coaching staff let someone else do their coaching for them! Usually this person is the janitor or just whatever crazy old coot wanders onto the practice field, so it’s actually kind of refreshing that this year it’s a player, at least.
Family Circus, 10/23/14
For all its various crimes against taste, humor, and narrative sense, the Family Circus at least treats its pets fairly realistically. Sam, Barfy, and Kittycat don’t exchange wisecracks with the kids in thought balloon form like, say, the dogs in Marvin; they are instead mostly ignored by the children except for when they’re being tormented, which strikes me as an accurate portrayal. Anyway, that all ends today with this terrifying depiction of Kittycat’s facial expression, which proves that he’s definitely in league with Satan, and is perhaps possessed by the Lord of Lies himself. Presumably when the poor creature rejected baptism in the name of Christ, he created a space within himself where the Devil could get in. Now the demon-controlled cat body still purrs in evil joy, even though his heart stopped beating long ago
Funky Winkerbean, 10/23/14
Funky Winkerbean is taking a break from death-terror and gross romance to give us a lighthearted sequence of Les and Funky on their morning jog. (Funky hates jogging but has to get in better shape so he doesn’t die of a massive heart attack, so it’s not a complete break from death-terror, I guess.) Anyway, Les takes this private moment to gently let his friend know that he hasn’t been meeting the pun quota set for every Funkyverse character. “Oh, crap,” thinks Funky. “Uh … it’s a running panter? Panter? Get it, it’s like banter but I’m panting?” Les smirks his approval.
Who can forget those great slang phrases of yore, like “Answer your telephone: ‘This doesn’t concern you!’” Or “I believe the message boy from Western Union is at your door with a telegram: ‘Your opinion is irrelevant!’” Or “A courier from the King has arrived at your castle, bearing a scroll sealed with the royal signet: ‘I don’t need your advice!’” I mean, this strip isn’t up-to-the-minute like Blondie, so we didn’t get a real cutting-edge phrase like “You might want to check your Twitter DMs: ‘Don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong!’” But this is still a good approximation of how the kids talk, A+ job.
Marvin has been farting out aggressive, mindless defiance literally since the day he was born.